The Final Event in the Series of Training Webinars on Developing Organizational Capacities of Community Justice Centers in Ukraine

On July 07, 2021, the USAID New Justice Program, jointly with the Center for Court Innovation (USA), conducted a post-training discussion of outcomes of training for representatives of Community Justice Centers (CJCs) which was administered between May and July 2021. The training was intended to develop organizational capacities of CJCs in terms of procedural justices, financial components of CJC operations, assessment of communities’ needs and design of a strategy for public involvement, CJC performance measurement, establishment of CJC-community partnership, and CJC role in applying the people-centered approach to provision of services in the sphere of justice.

The final training webinar was devoted to discussion of the feedback from CJCs and focused on what useful CJC staff learned during the training series, how this knowledge would be applied in practice, what challenged CJCs may face in the process of enhancing their operations, and what potential for CJC development exists in Ukraine.

Sharing experience of cooperation with courts and how procedural justice components can be used in CJC operations became real revelation for colleagues from Chernihiv CJC. Chuhuiv CJC expressed a need in additional training in transitional justice matters as this CJC has a branch in Soledar (Donetsk region) on the delineation line of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Representatives of Odesa CJC pointed out that the training served to them a means of re-thinking the CJC role in a community and looking at CJC services to the community from a different perspective. Tatarbunary CJC team highlighted usefulness of learning a reporting algorithm and public education on CJC operations.

Specialists from the Center for Court Innovation mentioned that communication with Ukrainian CJC was insightful, highlighted their achievements, and emphasized the importance of continuous cooperation of CJCs for experience sharing as well as cooperation with communities, for instance, by means of conducting conferences and roundtables online or offline. Besides, American trainers stressed a necessity to measure the impact of CJC activities on local communities and to search local sources of funding CJC operations.

Once the training program had been completed, trainees – CJC specialists – were requested to fill out the feedback form. The completed feedback forms will be sent to the Center for Court Innovation for analysis and preparation of an online visit to each CJC to discuss plans for further development. The plans envisage three phases: (i) developing recommendations, (ii) identifying priorities of organizational development for the nearest future and designing a detailed implementation plan; and (iii) developing a road map for attaining financial sustainability through active mobilization of funds for further activities of CJCs.